Paying a doctorate degree, she had to take care

Paying her way to college, Rachel
Carson not only graduated with a masters in zoology and became the second woman
hired by the US Bureau of Fisheries, but she also wrote many books which
greatly impacted the United States. Born into an impoverished family, Rachel
Carson overcame many obstacles while in college, and became one of the 100 most
influential people of the 1900s.

            Rachel
Carson, born on May 27, 1907, found her love for nature and animals at an early
age while exploring her family’s 64-acre farm in Springdale, Pennsylvania
(Michal; Souder). She always loved exploring the woods by her house with her
dog, Candy, and noticed all the bugs and different types of trees with her eye
for detail (Hustard). Because Rachel’s dad, Robert Carson, was an insurance salesman, he
often left home to travel leaving Maria, Rachel’s mom, alone with her four kids
(Souder). Her family had a very low income causing them to have no electricity
or plumbing (Souder). While she was a child, she loved reading and writing and became a published
author by ten years old (Michal). Throughout high school, Carson had to work at
a laboratory in Massachusetts and at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to
help fund college (Hustard, Powel).

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            In
1925, she began attending the Pennsylvania College for Woman studying English
but later changed to study biology (Michal, Powel). Graduating in 1929 with
high honors, she received her bachelor’s degree in biology (Powel, Gilbert,
Michal). Longing to learn more, Rachel began studying at the oceanographic
institute of John Hopkins University, where she received her master’s in
zoology in 1932 (Michal). Although Rachel wanted to pursue a doctorate degree,
she had to take care of her mother and two orphaned nieces and continued to
struggle financially (Michal, Gilbert).

            After
searching for a long time, she finally found a job teaching zoology at the
University of Maryland (Powel). Leaving her teaching career, she scored higher
than all other applicants and became the second woman hired by the US Bureau of
Fisheries in 1936 (Michal). Carson began as a marine biologist until 1937 when
she became a junior aquatic biologist (Michal, Hustard). After the promotion to
editor-in-chief, Carson left this organization in 1952 to pursue her writing
career (Powel). Although Carson faced much rejection, she published her first
book, Under the Sea Wind, in 1941
which explained the animal life on the East Coast (Powel). Soon after the
publication, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor taking away from the focus on her book
so she only received some admiration for presenting scientific facts in an
understandable way (Hustard). Because Carson longed for people to understand
the wonders of the ocean, she wrote and published a second book, The Sea Around Us, in 1951 which
eventually was turned
into a movie as well (Powel). This book sparked wonder in the mind of all who
read it, causing it to become the best-seller for 86 weeks and allowed her to
quit her job (Gilbert, Hustard). A letter from one of Carson’s friends in 1958
opened Carson’s eyes to the effects of spraying pesticides on plants (Powel).
Her friend studied the forest and noticed much of the wildlife and birds began dying
very rapidly, and after many tests, it became evident that the cause was the pesticides (Powel).
Carson decided she needed to do something about the problem, so she began to
write another book and before the book was even published, 4,000 copies had already been sold (Hustard). In 1958,
Carson spoke to editors about publishing a story in the newspaper before
writing a book, but they pushed back the deadline in order for Carson to better
prepare (Powel). On December 1, 1958, Carson’s mom died a sudden death, so the
deadline changed again (Powel). Determined, Carson continued researching, but
became ill in the early 1960’s from pneumonia, and had to have surgery to
remove two tumors (Powel). In 1961, Carson was diagnosed with cancer and began radiation which
caused her body to become weak, but afraid they would cancel her book, kept her
well-being a secret (Powel). After four years of strenuous research and
writing, she finally published, Silent
Spring, which explained the effect of poison and how to more cautiously use
them (Powel). John F. Kennedy, a fan of Carson’s writing, read all of her books
and created an assembly of numerous scientists to further study Carson’s theory
(Powel). Although thousands of people greatly enjoyed her writings, many
chemical companies spent thousands of dollars trying to discredit her work, but
failed (Powel, Michal). On June 4, 1963, Carson spoke in the courts to testify
her reason for writing the books and replied to the attacks by saying that she
began this campaign with only the public and environment in mind, not a
specific company (Powel).

Through the
trials, Carson remained strong, and won a national book award, national science
writing award, and a Guggeheim grant (Michal). Overcome by cancer, Carson died
on April 14, 1964 and did not get the privilege to see her life’s goal
accomplished- the banning of strong pesticides (Gilbert, Hustard). Awarded the
Presidential medal of honor after she died and fondly thought of as an early
environmental activist, Carson changed the United States and many other
countries for the good of the people (Michal, Biography.com editors). Carson
produced the largest influence to the country and is now known as one of the most significant women of
the 1900s (Hustard). Because Carson’s life impacted the country in such a
strong way, her funeral was
held at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. (Hustard).